Green building leads to green jobs. Today, the U.S. Green Building Council released the results of a green jobs study that examined the impact that the green building industry has on the nation’s economy and the growing green jobs movement. The report, prepared by Booz Allen Hamilton, determined that spending in the green construction industry helps to support over two million jobs and is responsible for more than $100 billion in GDP and wages.

As the green building trend continues to gain momentum, it is expected that the industry will help to support approximately eight million jobs by 2013. The report further breaks this down into jobs that are directly related to LEED spending. Since 2000, 15,000 jobs have been created thanks to LEED-related spending and nearly 230,000 more jobs should be created by 2013 as more green building projects look to the LEED rating systems for guidance.

So what types of jobs are being added as a direct result of spending on green construction projects? The report examined the impact that the green building industry has had on the following employment sectors:

  • Nonresidential construction
  • Residential construction
  • Electric power generation, transmission, and distribution
  • Water, sewage, and other waste treatment systems
  • Waste management and remediation services
Many of the jobs that fall within these employment sectors directly impacted by the green building movement are attainable without an advanced degree. In nonresidential construction carpenters, construction laborers, truck drivers, and heavy-equipment operators are seeing employment opportunities on green construction projects.

One of the most important aspects of the growing green jobs movement is the need for good green jobs - jobs that will provide under and unemployed Americans a pathway out of poverty. The USGBC report estimates that the average annual salary for these positions listed above is just over $40,000.

This figure excludes positions like construction managers, civil engineers, and cost estimators, which all require an advanced degree. When factoring in these positions, the industry-wide average annual salary jumps to $52,200.

Between 2000 and 2008, green construction spending was responsible for 2.3 million jobs in nonresidential construction. This number is expected to jump to nearly 7.5 million jobs by 2013.

Although the green building movement is firmly rooted in the commercial industry, it is still gaining momentum in the residential sector. The USGBC Green Jobs Study predicts that there will be just over 460,000 jobs attributed to green building spending in the residential sector by 2013. This is up from the 143,000 jobs gained between 2000 and 2008.

In a time where the construction industry has been hard hit by the economic crisis, job growth in these sectors will be important in helping the nation recover from the recession.

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